The definition of facility management will get changed post COVID -19 outbreak. Now a facility management company working in residential complexes is not just a service provider but also a care giver, an extended family. When people are maintaining social distance, moving out of home or office bubble only when essential the facility management team is ensuring their properties are managed and people in the properties are well secured (via security services); well sanitised (via housekeeping staff) and well connected/ provided in case their family member(s) tests COVID-19+ and has to quarantine for 14days. The future facility management companies have to scale up in terms of what is expected out of them in any property environments be it residential, commercial or institutional.

With Health, Wellness and emotional support becoming a primary focus area, organisations will look to hire trained and professional facilities managers to drive such initiatives. Also, as we move forward, the role of Facility management service providers would become strategic and long-term in nature with facets like safety and hygiene gaining importance for everyone. Technology alongwith changing attitudes will be key driver in increased sophistication for facilities management. The role for a facility management is emerging from being a service provider to promoting a culture anchored by quality, safe work practices, technology, talent development and analytics.

Managing a property in today’s quick-thinking world takes a lot more an Property Manager App like Urest helps to create an space inventory and let you monitor everything online from your dashboard and have a better insight into spaces and their usage for revenue generation. The Digital world has altered the way facilities are used and has redefined the workplace and way of living. As digital systems become more powerful and deeply embedded amongst the processes and workings for organisations, the way companies manage and use offices, residential properties or manufacturing sites, will continue to evolve.

Change to Digital
With organisations in future preparing to reopen workplaces, occupiers have to be prepared for determining their thresholds and policies for welcoming employees, visitors and customers back to offices and place of business. Expectations from the services and amenities that companies provide are increasing at a rapid pace, with more focus on wellness and health at the workplace. By embracing latest technologies, FM providers must together work with clients in order to improve the wholistic workplace experience and also undertake health, and wellness initiatives.

The outbreak has enforced companies to reset the soft services to further support the workplace environment. There is a growing need amongst automating FM business processes, which involves everything from move-ins, other service requests, maintenance, to energy management or workspace customization.

Technology and Artificial Intelligence
Smart technologies are accelerating every aspect of building automation. With leveraging of technological know-how, the present day to day work of Facility management providers will start being intelligent and also very efficient. Many smart technologies are now becoming readily available to automate business parks, office spaces, shopping malls, apartment complexes, warehouses and other public spaces. With help of these emerging technologies, FM have the potential to optimize their time on the job and create a better environment for facility occupants.

In the post COVID-19 era, viable technologies will add greater significance, given that facilities will have to be occupied in a gradual manner and better control and intelligence will be required to operate buildings in an dynamic environment with varied occupancy pattern. Quicker changes, operations, remote monitoring and data analytics are expected to bring efficiency in this dynamically changing occupancy.

The existing concept of smart buildings is pushing facility managers to rediscover the use and integrations of buildings into one single eco-system. Every asset or device within the building, such as lights, sensors, windows, HVAC units, doors and CCTV, having a unique identity and all fully integrated into a network. Artificial Intelligence and IoT technologies can increase operational efficiency and improve building management, by allowing to distantly monitor and control facilities.

Wellness and Improving User Experience
With health and wellness being the key focus area, organizations are increasingly investing more in the health and well-being of their employees and key priority will be on wellness on every company’s agenda. The current situation has completely redefined expectations and employee experience. As organizations prepare for their reopening, there is a growing need for employers and occupiers to demonstrate and ensure to their associates about their safe return to the workplaces and safety in the longer run. Demonstratable actions from employers will further go a long way in reassuring the associates, with facilities managers being required to drive most of these wellness initiatives.

Driven by an increased focus on the business outcome and user experience, the role of FM providers is becoming more long term and strategic. With employee engagement and experience gaining importance, FM providers are working in partnership with customers to help them achieve the company’s corporate goals. Clients see smart buildings as a means of enhancing the ‘customer experience’ for employees. As technology and changing attitudes drive an increased sophistication in facilities management, it’s the people who are playing a much more important role.

In the post Covid-19 scenario, there would be an increased focus on activities and new services to facilitate employee’s return to their workplaces. Occupiers should conduct a holistic review of business requirements and portfolio implications to assess and optimize their medium- to long-term positions and options considering anticipated changes to workplace strategy in a post-COVID-19 world. It is absolutely critical to establish a centralized, multidisciplinary task force as soon as possible to help plan and oversee recovery efforts across the portfolio. FM providers and occupiers must work together to settle on a balanced approach that builds in greater resilience by introducing a spectrum of physical and virtual solutions based on business needs.